What to expect on
The first visit to any new community means encountering the new, the different or the unexpected. Whether you are a lifelong Lutheran or have never set foot in a Lutheran church before, we want you to be comfortable.
Liturgy is important to our worship because it stays true to our Lutheran tradition and connects us with Christians from around the world.
Music is an essential part of our worship as it prepares us to hear the reading of scripture and a sermon of encouragement.
We invite everyone to share in Communion with us. This is a time to reflect and gather together as a church.
We host a coffee and fellowship time in our Activity Center from 9:15 to 10:45 AM. This is a time to mingle, meet new people and catch up with each other.
We offer learning opportunities between services every Sunday. Check the television monitors upon your entrance into the church for offerings and locations. And, always know you can ask anyone you see a question or for help to get you connected.
Children are included in our congregational worship services. We want to help children know that we, too, accept them as they are and help them realize the potential they have as children of God.
The congregation of First Lutheran Church has been meeting since 1870. Its founders were convinced that the community of Lincoln was in need of a church that focuses on practical, Biblical teaching as well as engaging the surrounding community. Over the years, our congregation has evolved to meet the needs of our people and serve each other well. We’re committed to being a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds and to continue our legacy of supporting our city with a heritage of faith.
A Storied Tradition
What we believe
We share a faith in Jesus Christ with billions of others, and we find that our faith is most understandable to us when we view it through a Lutheran theological lens.
Formally, that means we believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the Bible, expressed in the Church’s historic Creeds and witnessed to by the Lutheran Confessions.
- The Trinitarian God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the means of our salvation from sin and death.
- The Old and New Testaments as God’s Word, witnessing to God’s actions through time and God’s promises to believers.
- By grace alone – God’s free and undeserved gift;
- Through faith alone – apart from any work or worth on our part;
- In the Word of God alone – Jesus Christ, whom we know through Scripture.
- Baptism as a sacrament, the means of grace whereby God claims us in a relationship of lifelong growth in faith and discipleship; and as the sign of each person’s vocation or “calling,” his or her role in the world for the sake of God.
- Holy Communion as a sacrament, the means of grace whereby the believer encounters the very presence of Jesus Christ through bread and wine, receiving forgiveness and the assurance of everlasting life as surely as he or she sees, smells, feels and tastes the food and drink.
- The Priesthood of All Believers; the understanding that all Christians are called to ministry within the Church and throughout their daily lives.
Dan Warnes is our Lead Pastor. “First Lutheran is a dynamic, gospel-centered, community of disciples. When we say we welcome everyone, we really mean it! I’m honored to serve here!” Pastor Dan also has passions for restoring old homes, NASCAR, rodeos and camping all across the U.S. He and his lovely wife, Marianne, have three grown children, two grandsons, named Gus and Knut, and a lab pointer named Lucy
Pastor Justin calls First Lutheran Church and Lincoln home after having served for seven years in South America as an ELCA missionary. “I could not have imagined that I would love serving alongside the faithful people of First Lutheran as much as I do! There is always a relationship to be built, an opportunity to serve in the community on the horizon, an adventure in discipleship around the corner and a neighbor to accompany.” Pastor Justin works in various ministry areas including Lifelong Learning, New Member Relations and AMMPARO. He is fluent in Spanish, loves to travel, and enjoys spending time with his wife and son, cooking, canoeing, hiking and weaving.
Marsha Anderson began her ministry as Visitation Pastor at First Lutheran in May, 2012. Previously, she served congregations in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska City, Nebraska, until she retired in December, 2010. She attended Californial Lutheran University, University of California in Santa Barbara, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and was ordained on July 15, 1983. She loves getting together with friends and family, reading (mysteries, romances, and spirituality), playing Scrabble and Dominoes and doing counted cross-stitch. She is a certified Spiritual Director with background in the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and the Enneagram. She loves making connections with people and helping people connect with what is important to them, especially their journey with God.
Director of Discipleship
Learning, serving and praying are the primary focus of Sunni’s call at First Lutheran. Sunni likes helping others discover their potential and use their talents. She is known for stretching people out of their usual comfortable places so they can experience new life. On the personal side of things, Sunni, and the two dogs, Koda and Lizy, share the house and sometimes they even share a corner of the bed. She enjoys photography, networking and training opportunities, good times with friends and family and spending time on any body of water. Sunni is a rostered Minister of Word & Service in the ELCA.
Director of Music and Worship
Masako is married to Boyd. Together looking forward to serve this vital worship community. She loves solid yet lively liturgical worship services at First Lutheran Church. She is the organist and directs handbell choir, small ensembles and coordinates the music program.
Director of Music and Worship
Boyd is excited to be at First Lutheran and to lead the choral program. He enjoys people developing their hidden talents – singing to the glory of God. He also works at Nebraska Wesleyan University where he teaches voice, arranging and directs two choirs. He likes to compose choral music and has many pieces published. He enjoys family time
A member of First Lutheran Church since 1988, Kathleen became the part-time Communications Coordinator in November of 2015. “First Lutheran Church is so rich in ministry with many faith-filled stories to be told and shared with the First Lutheran and larger community. I am blessed to have the opportunity to share the good works of First Lutheran Church!” Kathleen has been an active volunteer at First Lutheran in many capacities over the years. Her two adult children, Christopher and Rebecca, were baptized, raised and are also active members of First Lutheran. Outside of church, Kathleen has her own consulting, training and coaching business. She has traveled to all 50 states and 4 other countries for her work. In her spare time, she enjoys videography, cooking, outdoor yardwork and watching the Kansas City Royals.
Cyndi Crouse and her husband Gary, have been members at First Lutheran since 2009. Cyndi joined the First Lutheran Church staff in December 2016. Her responsibilities include maintaining church records, coordinating the church calendar, collaborating on various church publications and is the friendly voice you will likely hear when you call. Cyndi and her husband, Gary, have two grown children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys her family and friends, the great outdoors, cinema, and fabulous food often combining these activities. She also likes to ride her bike on the city trails, practice Yoga, take nature hikes, tour museums, art galleries and zoos.
Bryan is a long-time member and also church accountant for First Lutheran. Bryan is retired and now works in the church office on Monday (all day) and Tuesday mornings. His wife, Sandy, works for Lincoln Public Schools at MeadowLane elementary school. They have two children who live in Lincoln and Omaha and two grandchildren. Bryan enjoys exercising, golf and working in the yard in his spare time.
I became a member of First Lutheran in 1989. I am married to Kristi, who grew up at First Lutheran, and we have two boys, Dakota and Stephen. I have my own part-time appliance repair business so I am no stranger to electrical and plumbing jobs. I served as the weekend custodian at First Lutheran starting in 2015 until becoming the Building Superintendent in November of 2017. I consider First Lutheran Church as my family and my second home and feel privileged to help and serve the church.
Gina, a member of First Lutheran Church since 2016, completed the Nebraska ELCA Synod’s program, Seeking the Spirit Within, in June of 2018 becoming a certified spiritual director. As a spiritual director, Gina listens, asks questions, prays and reflects in a one-on-one setting with an individual who may be seeking spiritual direction in their career, family, relationships or any area of their life. Meetings with her would be about once a month for approximately one hour. While Gina is not a paid staff person at First Lutheran, having her share this new ministry with her brothers and sisters at First is truly a blessing. Contact her for more information, scheduling availability and costs.